About the winemaker
Nicolas Vonderheyden knew from a young age that he would become a Vigneron (french for wine grower and vintner), and would be a willing celebrator of the process of coaxing the vines into wine. As he was learning wine production, he realized that the Vigneron’s journey was not to control Nature, but to exalt and sublimate it.
Yet Nicolas had a few more stops to make before the dream of owning a winery became his own. After studying food science engineering in the Netherlands, Nicolas completed a winemaking internship in CA, then returned to France and graduated with a master degree in Wine Estate Management back in Bordeaux. After coming back to the United States again, this time in 2014, it was only then that Nicolas began to manifest his own dream of making his own wine, that is from vine to bottle. Nicolas was able to approach his dream of creating his own wine with a new depth of focus. Seizing an opportunity to start his winery with a friend’s leased 2 acre plot of land located in Woodside, California, yet situated in the Santa Cruz Appellation about 1,400 feet above sea level, offering all kinds of ingredients mother NATURE had to contribute to the perfect recipe for wine. The name of his dream was to be called Maison AREION.
Artisinal methods “I believe turning grapes into wine has real meaning. That’s why I use artisanal methods and respect a traditional savoir–faire. I implement sustainable, biodynamic and organic farming practices, soil and canopy management, not using any herbicides or insecticides. My focus is on harvesting fruit that reaches an optimal ripeness and shows a great balance between sugar and acidity while listening and responding to the vineyard needs. Wine will then naturally ferment and age in oak barrels to blend into a unique personality. From cultivating to bottling, craftsmanship reveals the passion and dedication to creating singular products. Wine is the water of the earth filtered through the roots of the vines.” This commitment is not just lip service to a culture which exalts the natural process, but to a spiritual process as well.